Surgical management of carotid artery atherosclerotic disease.


Journal Article (Review)

Cerebrovascular disease remains an important cause of disability and death in the geriatric population. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge with respect to the pathogenesis and medical and surgical treatment of carotid atherosclerosis. The majority of strokes are probably due to embolization from an ulcerated atherosclerotic plaque at the carotid bifurcation rather than from ischemia produced by global reduction in cerebral blood flow related to obstruction of the carotid arteries. Ultrasonography is an appropriate screening examination, but most vascular surgeons consider contrast angiography to be essential in the preoperative evaluation. Large clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of stroke prevention by carotid endarterectomy in symptomatic patients. The North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial clearly demonstrated a benefit of surgery in stroke prevention as compared with optimal medical therapy after only 18 months of follow-up. The European Carotid Surgery Trial and a VA Cooperative Study produced similar conclusions. Much less information is available concerning the patient with carotid atherosclerosis who has no cerebral symptoms. No convincing evidence that surgery is beneficial has yet been demonstrated, but a large multicenter clinical trial (Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis Study) remains in progress.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McCann, RL

Published Date

  • October 1993

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 86 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 2S23 - 2S28

PubMed ID

  • 8211352

Pubmed Central ID

  • 8211352

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0038-4348

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00007611-199310001-00005


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States